There was a tragically sad story in this morning’s Charlotte Observer about a young father, while grooving to tunes on his iPod during a relaxing jog on the beach in Hilton Head, was struck from behind and killed by a disabled, powerless light plane that was silently gliding to an emergency wheels-up landing on the shoreline. He never heard his fate coming.
It is worthy of news to the kids because it occurred on the very stretch of sandy expanse Reid and Ellen and her then-fiancee Tim rode bikes and strolled upon.
It was noted moments ago on the sticky note faithfully kept on my office wall. I am not too ashamed to say that if the ideas aren’t written down, there is every likelihood that I will forget by the time Monday rolls around. The note adheres to the newspaper articles (“23-mile jump aimed at breaking sound barrier” reads one headline) stowed away for inclusion in the next letter.
Sticky notes have been part and parcel of the letters for as long as I can remember. Those little yellow gummed-up sheets are a great invention for the memory-impaired. No doubt any shred of paper would do, but the yellow notes are habitual for me. Jotted on the note right now are notations about the ill-fated flight, their mom’s news, whining in my golf group, and progress with the bath moulding. Those scratchings will jump start my Monday morning next week.
But, time to reach back into the archives. Here is a letter from Ellen’s college years (Sweet Cakes is one of my pet names for her).
June 21, 2004
You have your possums, I have my squintys. Your mom reported that a squinty was in the east window well and she was scared that somehow, against all odds, it would chew its way through solid metal and wood and end up in the house. But there wasn’t just one of the little critters, there were five, and needless to say, in moments they were ‘liquidated’ with a few pumps of the pellet gun. Harsh, yes, but they are in the same rodent class as bunnies. And o’possums.
Reid got his 15 minutes of fame yesterday. On a lark I turned the story in to the Register, and viola!, they ran it big time. He got a kick out of it along with a fair amount of ink. He and Drew did a nice job in describing their feelings. Now, we just have to hold Reid to his word and make sure he dumps most of the cash into an account. The Register wanted to run the photo larger, but my camera settings won’t allow bigger images. Instead of a two column photo, it could have been 4. Your mom had fun with it. I’ll send a copy on to Grandma and Grandpa. It clears the national wire Thursday night, so it should get decent U.S. play this weekend. If they Indy Star had any guts, they’d run it, too.
Man, you’re in line for a boatload of furniture and trappings from Nonnie. The old girl is getting rid of most everything. As you know, your mom has taken a few things in to be re-finished or painted. We’ll caravan to Indy in two vehicles next month, so your new digs will have at least some furnishings.
Mike _____ was over here yesterday for golf, and he’s distressed that Cinderella Man is not having a big box office. He’s not sure why. Set up an interview with the Register while he was here, and when it’s published, I’ll send you a copy. He’s on to London in two weeks to begin work on The Da Vinci Code with Tom Hanks.
Your mom is hosting Karen _____ and LeAnn _____ plus a couple of other Omaha girls for the big art show this weekend downtown. They’re staying up in Perry at Hotel Pattee one night and a B&B near the Art Center the second night. They are all geeked up about it. It’s kind of like the State Fair with corn dogs and wieners, but it just happens to have art on the side. Don’t tell her I said that.
Geez, I just was startled when I stood up from my desk and noticed a white object curled up on the floor near my chair in the office. For a moment I thought it was Scooter. I don’t dwell on him being gone, but there sure are a lot of good memories. It was the right thing to do.
Uncle Ralph got a clean bill of health on his latest melanoma check up. He’s pretty pumped about it. Andy and Steph have moved to NYC and Ralph and Gayle go in this weekend for a visit. Ralph peppered me for restaurant suggestions, and I hope he doesn’t go into sticker shock when he sees menu prices. It will be a far cry from the Saddle Club in Grand Island.
Well, gotta go. See you soon, and have a safe drive back. Ta-ta and adieu.